SGML: Memory of Yuri Rubinsky (1952-1996)
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 1996 11:14:48 EST
From: Harvey Bingham <bingham@amos.HQ.ileaf.com>
Subject: In Memory of Yuri Rubinsky -- SGML Pioneer
We have lost an industry pioneer and leader. Yuri for years has had the
vision to enrich all of us who have worked with him. He has been an
effective advocate for making SGML have an important role in organizing
information into documents, and managing collections of documents.
For many years Yuri lead the SGML conferences. A highlight that he
presented regualrly was the "SGML Year in Review", sometimes with Pam
Gennusa. In '95, they gave up: there was so much happening that they
couldn't summarize it in 90 minutes!
He was chairperson of the WWW4 conference last month. He there both looked
to the exciting future, and back to the roots. He started the first-annual
SoftQuad award for excellence, given to Doug Englebart for his work 20 some
years ago at Xerox Parc. At that presentation, Yuri showed film clips he
had edited with Doug's daughter of that early work, which remains quite
amazing to those recently onto the web.
Yuri was one of the organizers and first chairman of SGML Open, the
industry consortium of over 50 companies who work to make SGML more
Yuri was the editor of the SGML Handbook, by Charles Goldfarb. That was a
labor of love, in which Yuri spent months of his evenings added all the
cross-referencing and indexing.
Yuri had recently moved SoftQuad products to allow general SGML
applications over the WWW. Offering HoTMetaL as a freely downloadable
product lead to much exposure to HTML-aware authoring.
He was the mover and shaker to include the ICADD capabilities to aid
document access for the visually and aurally impaired. The ICADD technique
is included in the ISO 12083 family of SGML DTDs for publishing
applications. Aerospace, defense, automotive, workstation computing,
semiconductor, and telecommunications industries all have DTDs supporting
these requirements. It is also part of the TEI text encoding initiative.
I hope we can continue to support the vision that he brought to so many.